The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has reinstated its enforcement discretion for cylinders exceeding periodic testing dates.

The PHMSA will not take action against anyone who fills a DOT-specification cylinder used to transport Division 2.2 non-flammable gas provided the cylinder meets all requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations, except that the cylinder is overdue for periodic requalification by no more than 12 months through to January 15, 2022.

Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the PHMSA has extended a notice it initially issued in April, 2020 and “and was intended to minimise disruptions in the supply chain, especially those related to providing medical gases to the health care industry”.

PHMSA said in a statement, “PHMSA understands that members of the medical and industrial gas industry have continued to experience difficulty in obtaining cylinders due to the ongoing Covid-19 public health emergency. Those difficulties have been exacerbated by the prevalence of the Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus and recent disruptions resulting from Hurricane Ida, both of which have led to an increased demand for certain gases and a disruption in the normal business model for cylinder exchanges. This has made it difficult to obtain cylinders that can be filled in accordance with the requalification provisions specified in 49 CFR 173.301(a)(6) and 180.209.”